SAN DIEGO - Dozens gathered outside the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park on Saturday to honor Vietnam Veterans as part of “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
The day is observed on March 29, which is the anniversary of the last U.S. troops leaving Vietnam.
Sal Pellerito, the president of the Vietnam Veterans of America San Diego chapter, told 10News the day was all to welcome home Vietnam Veterans because many of them did not receive that welcome when they returned from Vietnam.
“When we actually meet a Vietnam Veteran it’s a ‘Welcome home, brother.’ That’s how we acknowledge each other. Usually you shake your hand, pat you on the back ... It was something that we never saw as young men coming from home from Vietnam," said Pellerito, who served in Vietnam for 18 months.
At Saturday’s event, participants were invited to create welcome home cards for Vietnam Veterans as well as cards for VA patients.
“It’s a nice feeling that after all these years, that people are actually acknowledging us coming home,” said Pellerito.